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12.04.2006 General News

Bring Murderers Of Ya-Na To Book

By Graphic
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Widows of the late Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, have joined the call on the government to ensure that those who murdered their husband and 40 of his elders are brought to book.

According to them, it was not right for those who masterminded the death of the king to be let off the hook, since it was against natural justice.

In a tribute on behalf of the widows at the burial ceremony of the late King in Yendi on Monday, Katini Mary Abiba, flanked by some of the widows, stated that it was time for justice to prevail in the area.

Indeed, all the other tributes described the late Overlord as a great King, father, brother and an illustrious son of Ghana whose contribution to the society, particularly the Dagbon State in the Northern Region, would forever be remembered and cherished.

Those attributes of the King, exhibited over the 28 years that he ruled Dagbon, were re-echoed in all the glowing tributes paid to the Overlord at the burial ceremony.

The tributes were by the Andani Family, the Council of State, the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, the Northern Regional House of Chiefs and the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC).

In a tribute on behalf of the Andani Family, the Kpan-Na, Mahamadu Bawa said the late Ya-Na was liberal towards his people, as he offered personal assistance to many individuals, including civil servants and teachers.

“Development projects sprang up everywhere in the kingdom owing to the peace that prevailed, as he did his best to bring the two Royal families of Abudu and Andani together,” the Kpan-Na stressed.

According to him, Yendi and Dagbon experienced rapid transformation during the reign of the Overlord as he expanded the Dagbon Traditional Council to include chiefs from Saboba, Nafeba and Chereponi.

The Kpan-Na further said the King contributed immensely to the growth of the National House of Chiefs and was the President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs until his murder in March 2002.

General Edwin Sam, in a tribute on behalf of the Council of State, described the death of the Ya-Na as a great loss, since it had created “a big vacuum” in the country.

According to the Council of State member, peace, unity and development were the great legacies the King had left behind.

The Secretary to the Asantehene, Mr Kofi Owusu Boateng, in a tribute on behalf of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, noted that his “sudden death has deprived Dagbon of a great leader”.

“The late King's contribution to national development will be missed by all,” Mr Boateng observed.

The Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, on behalf of the RCC, said the Ya-Na was a magnanimous and forgiving leader who worked tirelessly and closely with the RCC to help initiate development in the Dagbon State.

Mr Dan Abudulai Nantogma, who delivered a tribute on behalf of the Regional House of Chiefs, observed that the Ya-Na's sterling qualities like patience and tolerance made him a great King and a pillar in the region.

“Members of the house have lost a great friend. His discipline, coupled with his royal upbringing, had distinguished him as a great King,” Mr Nantogma noted.

Meanwhile, a section of the public who attended the burial ceremony has called on the government to facilitate the realisation of the other targets outlined in the road map to peace that was arrived at by the Committee of Eminent Chiefs and the other stakeholders in the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis.

According to a 61-year-old woman, Madam Abibatu Mahama, “We have now crossed the first bridge with the final interment of the King and I pray that both sides of the chieftaincy divide will further make compromises to achieve total peace for Dagbon.”

A 19-year-old student of the Yendi Secondary School, Mariama Issah, also said, “With the burial now over, I will plead with the leadership of the two Royal gates to ensure that there is sustainable peace in Dagbon to accelerate development in this part of the country which has suffered much deprivation as a result of the protracted conflict.”

A civil servant, Mr Emmanuel Mahama, was not happy that no member of the Abudu Family was present at the burial ceremony and expressed the hope that “this attitude will not negate the recent agreement signed between the two sides and the Committee of Eminent Chiefs”.

With the final entombment of the late Overlord on Monday night at the Royal Mausoleum at the Gbewaa Palace, the ban on traditional drumming and dancing has automatically been lifted in Dagbon and the people have expressed joy that with the lifting of the ban comes the opportunity to showcase the rich Dagbon culture to the rest of the world.

The ladies in particular were happy that they would be able to make merry at weddings and outdooring ceremonies by dancing to the beat of the “Lunsi” drums and the “Gonje” strings and instruments that they had missed so much.

Since the murder of the late King more than four years ago, there has been a ban on drumming and dancing and the organisation of funerals in Dagbon as demanded by custom.

The various paramount chiefs and sub-chiefs who are in Yendi to witness the burial of the King formally visited the family of the Ya-Na yesterday at the temporary palace to mourn with them and also pay their last respects to the late King at the mausoleum in succession. That was after the Kuga-Na had formally announced the death of the Overlord.

Each chief was accompanied by his group of local warriors, amidst the firing of musketry, drumming and dancing. The first son of the late Ya-Na, Abdulai Yakubu, who has now been given the title, Kanpakuya-Na, was made to see the remains of his father before they were entombed.

Early yesterday, he was again made to visit his father's grave as part of the tradition before his formal installation as the Gbang-Lana (Regent) on April 28, 2006.